A School of Biological Sciences research team at the University of Hong Kong recently discovered an unexpected role of the heat shock proteins (HSPs) during neuronal differentiation. HSPs are mostly known to protect cells from various stresses, e.g. extreme temperatures, toxins, and mechanical damage, and to safeguard tissue development. This new study, however, suggests that the HSPs can also play an inhibitory role in neuronal differentiation by destabilizing the cytoskeleton of the neurons.
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